Ask Better Questions

Following the previous chapter on honing your ability to focus - one of the best ways to improve or increase your focus is harnessing the power of questions. Good questions, that is. Asking the right questions can save your life, as well as improve the quality of your living.

Here are some great questions that you can ask yourself, to steer you in the right direction, which is the path of personal development for progressive living.

Great Problem-Solving Questions

If you have a challenge today that you need help solving, I’ve collated five questions to help guide you through the problem-solving process. Don’t rush through these questions, take your time to reflect upon them to see what kind of insights you’ll receive. Sometimes, asking the right questions leads to the right answer, or the right attitude.

  1. What’s great about this problem(s) that I’m facing right now?

  2. What could be better?

  3. What am I willing to do to make it better, the way I want it?

  4. What am I willing to stop doing to make it better, the way I want it?

  5. How can I get myself to enjoy this process while I do what is important to make it better the way I want it?

Take it one step higher

Here are five more questions, leading questions that will lead you to asking more pertinent, deeper and important questions to help you get more out of life.

  1. Who do I love, and what am I doing about it? - Make most of the time you have spending quality time and moments with people whom you love. Life is fleeting, and people can go anytime. If you’re not doing this, then change that. If you have a grudge, a resentment against a family member, let it go and reconcile. If you’ve hurt a loved one, ask for forgiveness. Forget the pride, make up. If you hadn’t made them for them, call them and set a date. Do it now.

  2. Am I pursuing a dream worthy of pursuing…or if fear stopping me? - What is your dreams and aspirations? What dreams had you dropped because they were “unrealistic?” What and which fears are stopping you? What’s the worst that can happen?

  3. Am I doing something that matters? - There is a significant difference between number crunching, being a number crunching digit, and doing stuff that makes a difference. One good way of determining its significance is asking “Will this matter in five years time?” It’s a great question – it distinguishes the urgent versus the important, which almost always lasts.

  4. What am I doing to help others? - The greatest joy in life is being able to give, and to give generously. What have you done lately? Have you been kind and compassionate? Been there for anyone? Spent time on them, and their needs? If not, it’s a good time to figure out doing something or one thing for someone, and put it into action.

  5. Am I as good as I want to? - Oftentimes, I reflect and ask myself this question, and ponder about it almost all the time. Many times, in retrospect, I realized that there are many things I could have done better, but instead of beating myself up for it, I take it upon myself to do better, to learn the lesson behind it, to make that call and apologize or thank someone. It’s not easy to be good, actually it’s easier to be bad and selfish…but is that how you’d want to be remembered? Give it some thought, and act as according to your thoughts and faith.

If you have difficulty answering any of the questions above, try to use the word "could." For example is "What could I be most happy in my life right now?"

To help me set my day, I also prepare for myself a specific set of questions (one set for morning, and another set for evening before I sleep); their purpose is to prepare me to have great days).

Morning Power Questions

  1. What am I happy about in my life today, right now? What about it that makes me happy? How does that make me feel?

  2. What am I excited about in my life right now? What about that makes me excited? How does that make me feel?

  3. What am I proud about in my life today, right now? What about it that makes me proud? How does that make me feel?

  4. What am I thankful for in my life today, right now? What about it that makes me thankful? How does that make me feel?

  5. What am I enjoying in my life today, right now? What about it that makes me joyful? How does that make me feel?

  6. What am I committed to in my life today, right now? What about it that makes me committed? How does that make me feel?

  7. Who do I love today, right now? What about it that makes me feel loving? How does that make me feel?

Evening Power Questions

  1. What have I contributed today? In what ways have I given today?

  2. What did I learn today?

  3. How has today added to the quality of my life? How can I use today as an investment in my future?

Asking Great Questions Bring About Great Clarity

Great clarity is a gift, like light in a darkened room

You can immediately tell where things are, and how to get from point A to point B and/or to do what you need to do in the room without wasting time or injuring yourself if you were to grope in the dark (this is a good metaphor for how one will be lost without asking these questions).

These questions I used on myself whenever I face with a seemingly tough challenge or situation, such as when I was first placed in a position in the firm where my manager was pushing to back down or get out.

Or when I had joint ventures with friends which project ended up flipping over. Or when our stint in business went sour. The questions, as easy as they seem on this page, is pretty tough to go through when you're in a state of shock, pain or denial.

It's because of sheer focus that I asked myself those questions, running those questions through my head multiple times that I could find clarity in my thoughts during the mess of the time then.

I decided to leave the firm, and it started out as one of the first few best things of my life, even until today, which is four years later in 2008. When the joint ventures failed, I learned that it's not that easy to invest in joint ventures, and how I shouldn't take things for granted, and it led me to re-focus all my energies on both personal development and physiotherapy business, which then grew.

Asking yourself these questions, periodically, daily even, may change your life, for the better.

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